Baseball player, Josh Hamilton, wants to quit chewing tobacco

Texas Ranger Josh Hamilton recently released a statement saying that the issue he’s been dealing with is discipline, including not having enough discipline to quit chewing tobacco.

Josh, this hypnosis post is for you.

When you struggle with a habit, whether it’s wanting to quit chewing tobacco, to quit smoking, or wanting to lose weight, there’s a battle inside of you. As a hypnotherapist in San Francisco, I see this battle each day in clients and of course myself, because each of us has habits we’d like to change.

Part of you knows it’s good to quit chewing, but an even stronger part makes you chew. Let’s give each part a name. Fred wants to be free of the chewing habit. Toby wants to chew.

Toby is bigger and stronger than Fred, so if Fred tries to stop Toby from chewing, Toby will beat him up. How the heck can Fred win the fight? He can’t, so it’s best to avoid a fight. Instead of conflict, it’s better to have peace.¬†And one way is to help Toby. He’s a smart guy; he’s chewing, because it’s the best option he’s got. He’d rather do something else.

And one simple step in moving from a conflict model to a peace model is to stop yelling at Toby. By talking with Toby in a more respectful way, Toby will realize that there is something better than tobacco. He may begin to realize that he deserves better!

How do you treat Toby with more respect? When you chewed tobacco in the past, you might have said, “I really hate doing this. Why can’t I stop?” When you talk down to yourself, you’re actually hurting Toby. Since Toby’s in charge of tobacco, you want to be nice to him.

Be an observer, and say, “I notice that I have a container of chewing tobacco in my hand. I’m opening it. I can smell the odor. I’m taking some out and putting it in my mouth… I just finished chewing.”

By observing what happened without putting judgment on it, Toby will start to shift his thoughts. This isn’t enough to quit tobacco, but it’s a huge first step, because part of the power of tobacco is all the energy we give it through judgment.

Josh, I know that this analogy sounds strange, but hear me out. Let’s shift gears for a moment, and pretend that tobacco is a guy, the type of guy that thrives on conflict and strong emotion. This guy gets stronger if you tell him he’s a jerk or if you try to fight him.

But this guy has a weakness. If you stop hating, fighting, and judging him, then he gets weaker. His food is conflict and emotion, and now you’ve stopped feeding him. He’s now starving.

Hypnotherapy clients tell me that this first step is tough, because they’re so used to judging themselves in many life areas. But once they become observers instead of judges, these clients tell me how much happier and peaceful they become. And this is even before they quit tobacco.

As you observe rather than judge, then the tobacco part gets weaker until you reach a tipping point. At that point, it’s much easier to fully let go of tobacco, as its power has drained away.

Josh, the issue isn’t discipline. The first step is about letting go of judgment and being an observer.

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